Tuesday, February 28, 2012

It's not me, it's you. (overhaul - phase one)

Craft room. We need to talk.
Just over a year ago, I painstakingly painted, decorated and organized you to suit my needs. We were in love, and couldn't get enough of each other. Unreasonable amounts of tools and supplies were crammed in places you might not prefer to have mentioned on the internet. It's ok. Because everything was stored, yet accessible, in lovely containers. I hate to drop this bomb, but I've met someone else who takes up a lot of space. I know I've doubled the amount of supplies and tools, without increasing real-estate to accomodate this newcomer. My bad. I'm left feeling smothered, and you aren't bringing much to the table anymore. I have needs. Your inadequacies are all I can see when I look at you.
Don't worry. We aren't breaking up. It isn't the end... it's a beautiful new beginning. And maybe after your makeover, if you prove worthy... I'll start calling you my studio. Doesn't that sound fancy? You best bring your A-game.

I still like your colors. I like my workbench. I like some of my storage. It's not all bad.

I know I sound like a spoiled wench for bitching about this, seriously, at least I have dedicated craft space. This is a luxury for most, and I don't take it for granted. But I'm a woman on the edge. Here's the good, the bad, and the fugly about the space/things I have in their current configuration.

Exhibit A:
The craft room, pre-dollhouse/miniatures (almost).
Well, to be honest, this is technically after I got started with minis, it just hadn't exploded yet. This is pretty close to the original setup I just never got around to art in there, except for that gratuitous-narcissistic-self-praising-accomplishment-wall.

That's the best I can do for a 360 degree tour. So, yes it's messy, crowded, and there's more wasted space than I care admit to. But you wouldn't believe how much crap is stored in there, as-is.
So here are a few things that aren't working for me:

Exhibit B:
My damned walls.
I'm not utilizing even half of the wall space that I could be. While I love to admire my many certificates, I don't need them in this space, occupying an entire precious wall. Those will be coming down with wall-to-wall open shelving added in its place. I've been looking at maybe doing a little vintage wallpaper treatment behind the shelves.

This seller has a lot of really cool options, just limited quantities. Some might even work beautifully inside a dollhouse. Please don't buy this one (above) out from under me, unless you have to. It's my fave so far. Just gotta measure that one wall to see if she's got enough to cover it. *crossing fingers* I won't need much.
Also, I've cleared with my husband to have both doors turned to open out of the room instead of into it. That is going to do really great things for my useable square-footage. Which maxes out at 100 on a good day. This is approximately a 10' x 10' room, give or take a few inches (HA! That's how men measure :)

I got that work bench/desk for $10 on craigslist. It was painted gross flat baby-poop yellow, one of the legs had fallen off, the hardware was horrendous. But it was 6' long, shallow depth, solid/heavy homemade construction, with 2 working drawers. Ten minutes from my house. Need I further explain? (I glued the leg back on, sprayed it with white appliance enamel for durability, changed the hardware, etc. DONE. I'll be refacing the drawers with something cool eventually.) I love my Ikea organizer that hangs above the workbench, that's staying. I'll make a pegboard system in the open space above the Ikea organizer for frequently used tools. The ribbon spools over the wrapping area will be moving. Somewhere on another wall. The paper-towel holder and magnetic tool strip might move too.

Exhibit C:
Stupid storage.
I know why I stored things the way I did, originally. I was primarily a beaded jewelry maker, who also hoarded supplies for candlemaking, scrapbooking, woodburning, furniture restoration, painting, drawing, sewing, embroidery, knitting, calligraphy, wrapping presents, and some other stuff, too. Everything was separated into lovely hatboxes and totes and looked cute around the room. And generally, small storage is cheap storage.
Or sometimes cheap storage is just cheap storage. Check this shit out.

Yep. That's how I store the glue gun. In a cardboard box on the floor. Probably fine.

The lumber yard is useless, as is. Can you tell what I have to work with? Sizes? Quantities? Yeah, me neither.

Expensive scrapbook papers just tossed into a girl scout cookie box.

Except when they're recklessly tossed into the *gasp* scrapbooking drawer.

Sanding implements, and most of my clamps. Dumb.

That trunk is full of fabric...

and so is this fucking bucket.

Oh, and this giant ugly plastic bag is stuffed with beautiful leather:

Oh dear god. Look away!
The egg crates. I saved these to organize small random components (which is why I recently purchased those acrylic organizers, like a big girl). Those components are going to end up in an incredible vintage unit I just bought. (It's in the process of being cleaned and painted. See next post.)

I find these sights, and several others to be horrifying and embarassing. I'm a grown-up! Why is everything still in cardboard boxes?! I left my last dormitory a long time ago. This behavior has got to stop. Or, all joking aside, hoarders is going to show up. 

Exhibit D:
Why is half this crap even in here?!
I originally went to school to be a paramedic, but clearly, I've lost all ability to triage/prioritize.

I'm going to be doing some soul searching and decide what really needs to be in this space. While I love a one-stop-shop, I don't have the space, so some items will have to move out into the non-climate-controlled area in the attic. I already have a few ideas for what can go.

The wrapping center. It's a lovely set-up. Well organized, totes full of bags/stationery, and boxes of bows, even a tissue paper organizer. This does not belong in here, except for the basket of scotch tape. I need that shit. I'll be sending those rubbermaid drawer things through to the attic, too. Not necessarily the contents. I'll use them to keep stuff I use less often organized in the attic space. I've got big plans (or just a big piece of furniture) for this wall. I'm so excited about it, I can hardly type. Again, NEXT post.

Exhibit E:

I've got a sweet skylight. And the only other light I have is one of those stupid 'boob lights"...


I'm in the market for a non-hideous track light with lots of bright lights I can point at my all work areas. Wouldn't that be lovely? Yes, it would. 

The skylight is sick, and works way better when it isn't nighttime.
And I have that cheap orange task-light (pictured on desk, above) I got at the Wal-Mart bargain tent. I think it was $5. That's where Wal-Mart shuns the products so terrible/so unwanted,  they don't want to be seen selling them so they kick them out of the store entirely. It's all been out there for months, and you pick through bins, and everything has a strange layer of film on it....
Task-light also seen in the following photo, which illustrates perfectly why no projects or tutorials are happening at this time.

I know. Excuses, excuses. I'm hoping to have about half of the reconfiguration finished in the next two weeks. I gotta get rollin' on some projects, man.

More posts about this project coming this week! Excitement!


  1. LOL, I wish you luck.
    I need to clean up my craftroom as well... *sigh*

  2. Good luck. Believe it or not, you are much more organized than I am. I need to do the same. I love the term "boob light". I think we all have one of those.

  3. Awww. Don't worry, mine is still worse. I'm currently crammed into our guest room, along with a dozen moving boxes and a bed. And the room is only 7x11 (yes feet!). Now you've tempted me to blog about it...

    Is that box with the scrapbook paper labeled "Ugly Box?" :)

    1. Holy mackerel! You should name that blog post about your craft/guest room 'ugly box' :) or sardine can.

      I order most of my kayaking equipment from a great company in Texas (Austin Canoe & Kayak) and they try to reuse donated old boxes for shipping instead of new ones to be more environmentally friendly. They slap on the 'ugly box' sticker so you don't wonder why you're getting a carton of girl scout cookies you never ordered. Hands waving in the air doing a big happy dance when I get an 'ugly box'. And then I recycle the box as a paper holder. I feel like a hippie.

  4. Could you build a shelf? Something bespoke would be excellent on either one of the walls or on the low wall under the windows.

    1. Still not sure what I'll do with the kneewall (because the baseboard heat registers are on that wall), but there will be a a whole wall of shelves from floor to ceiling on the opposite wall. Probably will be making them from some old barnwood I have access to. I've bought a couple of cool vintage furniture-ish items that will really help, too. Those plastic drawer units I have are cheap and convenient, but flimsy. Better for light duty use. I have a few custom storage items I'll be building out of wierd stuff too, so stay tuned!

  5. Hey Hippie =0) I actually feel I should come clean and post about the shite pile that I call a workshop. Admitting to perpetual crap collecting would no doubt force me to face my problems.

    Will you do me a HUGE favour? I LOVE your hourglass shape stool. Would you email/point me to/post a bigger pic of it so I can attempt a mini version?


    1. I love seeing other people's workspaces! It makes me feel like my hoarding is somewhat justifiable. You know, "if everybody else is doing it..."

      And yes, it's only considered a small favor, but I will definitely take some better shots of the stool by itself. And I'll even give you measurements (probably in inches though, because I'm American and so are my rulers). I was trying to find a weblink to the product with specifications, but it appears that Crate and Barrel has discontinued the item. I'll either post the pics/numbers somewhere in my next post, or I can try to e-mail them to you.

  6. Bwwwwhaahahhahhaha! "gratuitous-narcissistic-self-praising-accomplishment-wall". I'm crying I'm so jealous. Some day. Love the "ugly box". Cardboard boxes are better than plastic bags -- last night I finally moved three plastic bags of beading supplies from the craft store, into plastic storage bins I stole from kids "clean up" area. Legos are all over the floor anyway so they won't mind. Since I can't have a craft room of my own, I'm totally excited to see you make over yours. LOVE that wallpaper. Can't wait to see what you do. :D

    1. Nice. Stealing from the children. I'm surprised you don't already have a special wall to hang your certificate for 'Mother of the Year" :) But you're right, they totally won't even notice they're missing.
      Those plastic organizers are like gold around here, I'm shocked you let the kids have 'em in the first place. Everytime I get rid of a cardboard box I feel like I lose 10 pounds, so bravo for losing a few bags, yourself. Feels awesome, doesn't it?! I'll bet you found stuff you forgot you had. That's always my favorite part of organizing a mess.
      And the wallpaper, sadly, won't happen (explanation coming next post). I'm dying because of it. I need that paper in my life like a fat kid needs cake.